Thursday, February 22, 2018

Takeaways from February's Borough Council Meeting

Community Climate Initiative

Superintendent Tom Strickler said the district wants to get a handle on issues and develop an action plan.

School District Superintendent Tom Strickler and Dr. Gregory McGough, director of curriculum, explained the Community Climate Initiative and presented a "climate survey." Strickler said there have been problems with students after school and the district wants to get a handle on the issue and develop an action plan. The Pennsylvania Department of Education and IU13 are helping the district's initiative.


Dr. Gregory McGough laid out the stages of the process.

McGough said that one of the first steps is to create a vision of what we all see the school as. He said the process began with preparation and planning at the school level, and we are now at Stage 2: Delivering assessments to all stakeholders. Stage 3 will be to understand the findings and develop an action plan. Next will be the implementation phase, working with short, defined goals. The final step will be to reevaluate and start the process over.


Programs and Funding

Mayor Leo Lutz mentioned Manos House and Benchmark Programs to help with problems with youth in the community. He said the programs can't be possible or sustainable if the borough has to solicit funds to pay for them.

"This is a community problem, this is a problem we must address. We need to fund these programs so that they're sustainable," he said. "We can put lights in the downtown, but that's not going to help these kids."

He said the challenge is trying to find grant money and getting organizations to donate. "We will not arrest our way out of these problems," he said.


Our Home of Hope

Our Home of Hope received a $10,000 donation from council.

Council considered a donation request from Our Home of Hope for $30,000 to defray costs of facility repairs /renovations and operations at the 223-225 Cherry Street facility but in the end approved a donation of $10,000.


208-210 Locust Street

Council donated the former Bigler property at 208-210 Locust to the Lancaster County Land Bank.


Council voted to donate the 208-210 Locust Street to the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority.  At its November 2017 meeting, council approved $70,000 for the Lancaster County Land Bank to assist Brookline, a historic preservation company, with restoration of the property. Brookline’s budget for the project is $232,000. According to the agreement, the company will purchase the building for the token fee of $1 with the intent of restoring the facade and performing structural repairs. Brookline will then move its sister company, Lancaster Lime Works LLC, into the building.

MORE INFO HERE.


Funding for Study to Relocate Borough Offices

Council authorized an application to the Municipal Assistance Program. The program covers half the cost of a study the borough is undertaking to consider possible relocation of the borough offices and police station from its current location to other sites in the borough, one of which is the school district's administration center building at 200 North Fifth Street.


One-Way Streets



The borough approved the following one-way streets to accommodate traffic calming methods and new parking areas and to address a safety issue:

*Rotary Ave (Front to Commerce Street: East)
* Commerce Street (Rotary Ave to Walnut Street: South)
* Tenth Street (Ironville Pike to Spruce Street: South)
* Bethel Street (Ridge to Locust traveling North) changed to (Locust to Cherry traveling South).


Quick Ticket Complaints


Residents voiced concerns about quick ticket citations.


Borough Manager Greg Sahd said there were 70 snow code quick tickets issued on one day in January. He said that a resident who posts a $100 fee for a hearing will have the amount returned "probably net of the fine" at the hearing.


Resident Gerald Maurer said the borough should exercise discretion on citations.


A resident argued that the borough should exercise discretion when citing residents for a small amount of snow on the sidewalk. Officials said that any amount of snow can be considered unsafe.

Councilwoman FitzGerald said that she received a quick ticket for snow as well and paid it.

Another resident said he received a quick ticket regarding his trash bag being out for pickup without being placed in a trash receptacle.

A landlord asked for a meeting with the borough manager and the code manager. He expressed concern about something said to him although he did not give details publicly. He said he was frustrated with the lack of response from borough officials.


92 comments:

  1. Shovel your sidewalks within 24 hours and place your trash bags in a receptacle with a lid, as ordinances require so. Stop crying and asking for special exception, pay your fines!

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    1. Stop crying, bend over, and lick those boots. Such a model citizen. The gov't thanks you for your support.

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    2. Dear Anonymous, I had swept my sidewalk part way through the 1.4 inch snowfall.

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    3. this man is a good citizen.

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    4. He makes motherland Columbia proud.

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  2. leo should start using his own words he keeps using the term we can't arrest our way out. this kids don't respect any thing or any body , so keep hitting there or there parents pocketbooks , it will get threw. make trash details for them , the town has plenty of that, give them square blocks to clean up and have codes inspect that, if not acceptable do it again till it is.

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    1. its not his idea...

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    2. where is the respect that used to be in this town? RESPECT your neighbors,elders,and everyone,just to get along.Hold people young and old accountable or hit them in there wallets,or parents wallets. That's how it used to be. When the mayor gets rocks thrown at him and his truck that should tell you something. Start arresting these people and word will get out that the town is not going to stand for these actions any more......

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  3. do we need to sweep rain off side walks?

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    1. Really showing your lack of intelligence with that question. Makes you a special kind of stupid.

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    2. look at you , must be part of the borough team

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  4. how many borough officials live in the town?? if they want to take tax payer money they should have to live here and under the rules they our putting forth..

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    1. They all live here, they have to by law. How can you not know that? Geez.....

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    2. better check that

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    3. GEEZ!!!! Must make a correction: NOT all borough officials live in Columbia Borough. Do not lie to others. The code enforcement manager, the borough manager, the assistant borough manager, the public works director, the finance/human resource manager, the executive director of the CEDC and most of the police force do NOT live in the borough. If you say it's the law then apparently there are some problems here.

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    4. great somone knows.

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    5. Does any one in Columbia borough have to live in town?????

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  5. when was it a law that you could not use trash bags???? they should use the news letter to tell people new laws first , common sence goes a long way . can we get some people in this with some.

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    1. WHAT? Where did you read that you could not use trash bags? You're right that would be a complete lack of common sense. However, what the ordinance says is that your trash bags must be placed in a receptacle with a lid. The reason being that an animal or person could rip the bag open overnight, causing trash all over the street and sidewalk. Understand now?

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    2. That trash can will keep that person from ripping that bag open! He will be quite the fool!

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    3. It's really to be in a container with a lid to deter animals, but in Columbia many people act like animals. So I'm not surprised you used the human as example, you took the bait.

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    4. Bait would imply you set a trap. Sorry, but nobody is buying that.

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    5. some appartments don't have room for cans and they have been using bags for years

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    6. It is the responsibility of the landlord to supply trash toters or a dumpster for their tenants to place their trash bags in.

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    7. Why don't the recycle cans have lids?

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  6. Walnut Street should be one way from front street to 2nd. That would probably do a lot to prevent issues with that railroad crossing and traffic getting stacked on the tracks.

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  7. Was it a different bucket of money that allowed the $70K donation to a dilapidated building vs. a charitable contribution to a group home? No money in the budget for a solution to delinquent kids running amok through town after school buy money to make sure Perfect Settings is happy?

    It won't matter what program you put in place in Columbia without the support of the family! It has to be a unified approach!

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  8. You folks have to be some of the most ignorant and uneducated idiots around. Learn how to form a sentence, use punctuation and spell before you spout off your moronic comments.

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    1. I guess they went to Columbia Schools.

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    2. points are made ,and the English teacher must have understood them

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  9. I'm amazed at the demeaning tone being​ used in some of the reply comments, only a Republican would resort to condescending name calling. Next you'll be "tweeting."

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    1. The most hate filled vitriol is typically spewed by progressive, liberals .. but I don't want to change the subject!

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    2. shows where your mind is, its not politics its for the better of the town.

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  10. I detect the presence of borough officials among these comments.

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    1. Not surprising. Their fragile egos are apparent.

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    2. But at least we see how they really feel about the people in this town. It's absolutely disgusting. They shouldn't be allowed to run a lemonade stand, lest a town.

      Give some yokel a tiny little bit of power/authority in a tiny little town and they think they're the f'ing pope. Maybe some year this state will wake up and get rid of these municipalities in favor of county governments. It isn't 1750 anymore.

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  11. Hear, hear! Name calling from a borough official is
    disgraceful to a registered voter.

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  12. And the tears keep hitting the floor because nobody is good enough for any job in the borough

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    1. This is not about whether someone is "good enough" or qualified to work in this borough. It has everything to do with them living here and paying taxes here. If Columbia is so great, why aren't these borough workers relocating to Columbia. Buy a house here and help pay for all of the projects. Help pay for the education of Columbia's young people.

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  13. It's not that they are good enough,they are suppost to do things for the good of the town , not just a few pet prodjects.( like the river park)

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  14. shut down the FAILING school ,turn it over to the state like Harrisburg did.

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    1. that's right get all the over paid ,dead wood,lack of disaplint teachers out of that school.

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    2. amen if these kids are going to act like animals they must be treated like that. When they aren't in school any more they won't be coddeled ,so way now?????

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    3. Mr Smoker and Mr Kreiser had the respect of students. But then they got there jobs honestly, not the back door like these losers did.

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  15. Please officals, just run the town fairly, and spend tax payers money like you spend your own.

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    1. Be careful what you suggest. Some members of council don't pay their bills at all!!

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    2. NOT THE COFFEE CLUB HOST

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    3. HAHAHA! The reputation serves him well! What a deplorable thing to be known for.

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  16. As far as the school Dr McGough ring around the words, just hold everyone responsible for there own actions, don't let the kids run the show.

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    1. Dr McGough is one of those that tells any one who listens,what he is gone to tell you,then he tells you,then he tells you what he told you,by that time you don't realy care and just want him to sit down and go to the next person...

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    2. A grade school student from Columbia could have came up with that plan.

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  17. I paid my ticket also. My point was not one Borough Official in the the Council Chambers that night seemed to grasp the concept of discretion when evaluating whether or not a ticket should be written. Maybe they should all do some research on the use of discretion by officials empowered to "ticket" Columbia citizens. It's my bet someone from the top said "any amount of snow that day, write 'em up."

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    1. I agree,what would be inpassable????

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    2. how about the damage the trees that the shade tree com. puts in. why don't the borough fix damage and trim the trees?

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  18. Why don't more people come to the council meeting and speak up about the spending etc the council people do with our money. It is a shame to move the municipal building too that's a beautiful building in the center of our town. We never had so many employees before why now? It would be nice to fill the room on a meeting night.

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    1. they (council) all ready know how they are gone to vote,so saying anything just makes you a target of the borough.

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    2. when citizen comment came up to hire rebbeca dellinger they already vote her in.It was brought up right after that and it was said owell buy council members.

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    3. they just remodeled that building and the mayors office, up graded wiring etc....

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  19. she has all the say and don't live in Columbia she is the borough manager in training. These jobs are never advertised how do they get people?

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    1. they hired her then a few weeks later made a amendment to make the job title ord.

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    2. so what does she do? and what does the mayor need a assistance for?

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    3. The mayor has an assistant? Is that what you're saying? Or assistance? Please explain

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  20. On the relocation of the borough office. Many companies are now having their employees work from home equipped with all necessities of business such as laptop and printer. Why have the four Code Enforcement be in attendance every day of the week. The Codes Manager can have a weekly meeting and have his managing control of his codes officers.
    How much time is wasted inside the office? Work orders can be transmitted via email or phone.
    This is how you manage office space without interruption of downtown business.Citizens rely on convenient locations.

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    1. great idea but they have to spend money or so it seams in the way they are operating now.

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    2. how about the market house? If someone is going to cut it up into small units it might as well be the borough.

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    3. hotel locust would make a good muny office.

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    4. The borough should not place it's self with a failing school, they have enough going on themselves.

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  21. that is a great idea but it would never pass in this borough. Might be a better use of time also. I still feel with all the people in our town jobs could be filled. Give jobs to people who pay taxes here.

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    1. great ideas but then they would have to buy there own donuts.

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    2. if only council thought that way..

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    3. Can't even get a good donut in this town.

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  22. thanks for the great pics! now a few things. residents go to council mtgs and complain about the quick tickets and i'd put money on it that they get NO response from council. Correct? That's funny. COUNCIL are the ones who MANDATE and direct the Codes Dept. They have the say.
    another thing....NO NO NO to relocating the Boro offices. ESPECIALLY TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. THE SCHOOL DISTRICT MUST BE SHUT DOWN. The hardWORKING taxpaying homeowners can NOT afford to continue to carry ALL this baggage. and then, to top it off, this Council SPENDS MONEY LIKE IT HAS IT'S OWN MONEY TREE. Residents WAKE UP. Things will only get worse. Have you seen the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS THIS COUNCIL HAS SPENT JUST IN THE PAST 2 MONTHS??????
    Unbelievable. Unacceptable. spend that money on a couple of K-9 officers. or something for the kids of this town to do. and a huge shout out to Don And Becky Murphy for stepping up, believing in your town and continuing to improve the downtown every day. THANK YOU!!!!!!! What a wonderful example. We appreciate all these things that you are doing. Thanks :)

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    1. 40,000 fence 20,000 pad at river park 7,000 seal steps at river park 50,000 shore up of 208-210 75,000 more for 208-210 just the beginning, lots of money people

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    2. police need k9s please number 1 cop reconsider

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    3. 75,000 4th and locust- 65,000 dellinger -45,000 river park 3 -hotel locust how much is in that, but wood make new muny building.10,000 cherry st ,they get all residents s/s checks.none profit??? maybe a state audit is in order.

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    4. Don't forget Columbia#1 building

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    5. Columbia#1 building would make a place for club goodtimes close to new 37 apartment building for entertainment for younger crowd.

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    6. BRING NORM MISKEY BACK

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    7. Columbia #1 wouldn't make a good fit for the police station due to the railroad tracks and would cause delayed response times. Would make a good fit for the boro offices or some boro departments. But that would be too easy for council to figure out.

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    8. what is wrong with this group running Columbia

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  23. The mayor said we will never get a K9. No policeman wants to have one.

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    1. he also said there WAS NO GUN in the robbery behind turkey hill. ??????

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  24. Columbia borough, council, Columbia school district,Stricklers follies,mayor, etc are quickly becoming the laughing stock of the county,and soon the state.

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  25. On 208 210 property check the back article on may 22 spy, code manager stated NO WAY SHOULD THE BOROUGH GET INVOLVED its a money pit (126,000)- 1 dollar they sold it for.Who over ruled this at our council????????

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  26. we need a state audit

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  27. They have money trees on the borough farm, or is that a campus?

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  28. Some say this site pits people against each other. You post what actions council took at the meeting, the critics need to look at council to see exactly who is pitting people against each other. The Spy isn't deciding how to spend taxpayers money. There's rarely more than a handful of residents at any meeting. If what happened wasn't posted here, the residents would have to wait on the minutes to know what decisions were made and the outcome of agenda items. They might get a few paragraphs in LNP, but again that does not always happen promptly either and information is limited. It's like a council woman said years ago when someone asked "How will the residents know?" Her reply was "Maybe they don't want to know." And maybe she was right.
    Sharon Lintner

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    1. The Columbia spy is the best,Cole does a great job letting people know whats going on . THIS BUNCH OF LOSSERS ON CONCIL SPENDS MONEY LIKE THERE IS NO TOMMORROW. $40,000 fence they need there heads checked.

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  29. I have NEVER heard of any home owner paving a borough street. That is misinformation. Our taxes pay for street paving. I want a refund if homeowners are now paying for street blacktop. If this is the case then the homeowners on Walnut Street need to get busy.

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  30. We no not need a costly survey to find out if borough offices/police should be moved. Why do we have a council if they cannot make logical decisions. Even I know what should be done here. Throwing money away on fences and Street lights again,what logic is needed here? They are not needed as we have other issues needing attention first. Now we are making a tiny piece of Tenth Street a one way when Spruce already is. This will cause accidents as it will be too confusing. Not getting the reason on this one. The schools, let the state take over. Arrest the kids throwing stones & sue the parents for damages. Perhaps they will parent better. When I was in school Kreiser & Wissler put the fear of God in you. And we are top heavy in administration. It's needs thinned out. We don't need these new people with large salaries. And why does such a small town need 4 codes' officers. Seriously this isn't Lancaster city. We need to wake up & vote these people out. Be insistent on what we want.

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